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Research in injury prevention, by definition, requires collection of data in some form. Thus every investigator is faced with the challenge of identifying data collection instruments and deciding how best to use these. In some cases, a researcher will be asking new questions or measuring a new concept. If so, the researcher will need to decide how to operationalise the concept as a measurable entity. A process of instrument development and validation may be required. For example, how does one measure “risk taking behavior” or “parental supervision?” These are not trivial questions; getting the measures wrong risks the integrity of the entire study.
On the other hand, many projects involve measuring a behavior, attitude, belief or self-reported outcome that others have measured in the past. Assuming that previous researchers have taken the time to develop and validate a data collection tool, why should others in the field, hoping to measure the same entity, start from …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned, internally peer reviewed.